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Parkinson reflects on Vale loss

17 August 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson was left to rue what could have been for his side as they fell to their first league defeat of the season at the hands of fellow newly-promoted side Port Vale.

A poorly-timed back-pass from James Meredith and a deflection off Gary Jones played their part in Vale's two goals to see the hosts, who were promoted with City out of League 2 last season, edge out the Bantams in a close, but entertaining, contest.

While the nature of Vale's goals may not have been too helpful, the timing of them both was a further blow to City, with the Valiants' opener through Lee Hughes coming just before the break and Doug Loft's eventual winner arriving with City on top following Nahki Wells' earlier equaliser.

Parkinson concluded: "I felt Port Vale had the better of the first half. We let too many crosses come into our box. Lee Hughes and Tom Pope (Vale's strikers) aren't going to run in behind you but they will try and score from crosses.

"If you let those crosses come in, you are going to put yourself under pressure as a team.

"But we nearly got to half time unscathed. Pope has had a couple of chances but, despite not being at our best, I would have taken being nil-nil at half time.

"An uncharacteristic error from Mezzer (James Meredith) cost us a goal, which is a shame because he has been outstanding for us since he's come here.

"Second half though, the lads were outstanding. We've come up against a really physical team today (Saturday) and I felt we coped with it well in the second half.

"Looking at the balance of the chances made in the game, I think we certainly deserved a draw at least.

"We've had spells in that (second) half where we've been camped in their half and looking like we could create something. It didn't seem to fall for us though, especially towards the end of the game.

"The ball has been bouncing around their box a few times and you're just waiting for someone to get a good connection on it really.

"It didn't happen for us though, so we leave here (Vale Park) disappointed because I felt the way we played today, we deserved at least a point."

The Vale defeat for Parkinson's men leaves them with a record of one win, one draw and one loss from their opening three games of the League 1 season heading into next weekend's mouth-watering Yorkshire derby with Sheffield United.

Parkinson added: "We've had one win, a draw and a defeat now, so we are probably round about mid-table at the moment.

"We won't be looking at the table at this stage of the season though. We had to just work hard in training and get ready for what will be a terrific game next Saturday."

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